Foodie Reviews: Wok Express

Located in the heart of Bandra, Wok Express is a newly opened 30 seater restaurant that serves dimsums and offers bubble tea. Each wok can be customized as per your taste and preferences and can also be redone in case you are unsatisfied with what you are served. To make your own wok, start by choosing a base (options are – steamed rice, udon/wheat/ramen noodles), then choose fresh vegetables or meats and lastly the sauces, which range from traditional teriyaki to more adventurous pumpkin curry and sambal, along with condiments. Each dish is served with a complimentary fortune cookie. The more dishes you order, the more your fortune unfolds. Overall the food is tasty and is decently priced. The service is quick and portions are huge so do not get too greedy while placing an order. It is definitely a great option for a take-away or a quick meal.

Wok Express

What I tried:
– Pink Guava Bubble Tea
– Lemon Bubble Tea
– Thai Bubble Tea
– Coriander Chicken Dumplings
– Har Gau – Prawn Dumplings
– Crystal Dumplings
– Chicken & Steamed Rice in Chilli Basil Sauce
– Fish & Ramen Noodles in Kung Pao Sauce

What impressed me:
– The Pink Guava & Lemon Bubble Teas were served chilled and were very refreshing. For all those of you who don’t know, Bubble Tea is a beverage made with a tea base that is mixed with fruit or milk. It also consists of jellies or tapioca balls and is blended with various flavors and sweeteners and served cold. It originated in Taiwan in the 1980’s and spread all over post that.
– The Coriander Chicken Dumplings were served hot and fresh. They were juicy and tasty. The casing of the dim sums wasn’t too thick/thin either making it just perfect
– The dumplings were served with three sauces that complimented each flavor well
– Their wok portions were huge and filling
– The Chilli Basil Sauce was delicious and spicy

What disappointed me:
– The Thai Bubble Tea was a tad bit milky for my liking
– Crystal Dumplings were slightly bland and could have been tastier
– They do not serve any plates which makes it inconvenient to share dim sums.

Rating :
4/5

Pink Guava Bubble Tea

Coriander Chicken Dumplings

Har Gau – Prawn Dumplings

Crystal Dumplings

Chicken & Steamed Rice in Chilli Basil Sauce

Fish & Ramen Noodles in Kung Pao Sauce

Address:
Shop 1-2,
Dheeraj Swapna Building,
Pali Naka,
Bandra West, Mumbai.

Timings:
11am to 11pm

Wok Express Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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5 Fun Facts about Lebanese Food

Chef Maher Omran, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s Arabic Chef, recently conducted an exclusive ten-day festival, ‘With Love from Lebanon’ at Sofitel Mumbai’s Pondichéry Café. Food connoisseurs could pick from a wide selection of Chef Maher ‘s speciality dishes like Hummus, Falafel, Shawarma, Motabale (grilled smoked eggplant), Mouhammara (toasted whole nuts and tomato puree), Eggplant Musaka (oven roasted eggplant in tomato stew) and more.

With over a decade of experience in Lebanese cuisine and a unique gastronomy style, Chef Maher says, “The fact that Middle Eastern food is low on fat and uses plenty of fresh vegetables without compromising on flavors, accentuates its taste.”

With fresh herbs, spices, ingredients, mint, parsley, oregano, garlic, nutmeg, and cinnamon, Lebanese cuisine is light, delicious and is popular among gourmands all across the globe. Read on as he shares 5 fun facts about Lebanese food.

Chef Maher Omran

1. Lebanese salads often make use of ‘Samak Powder’ in dressings. Instead of lemons, or any other citrus, this is the element that adds the sour note to dressings.2. Vegetables and certain fruits such as prunes and apricots, are often sun-dried and stored to be used in the future, during the off seasons, when they are not as abundant. They are often served in between courses as palate cleansers.

3. There are no short-cuts in Lebanese cooking. For a delicate cuisine, the ingredients are prepared with as much time as they require and often sees methods such as braising. For instance, hummus preparation requires the chickpeas to be soaked in water overnight.

4. The cuisine makes use of a lot of preserves such as olives, preserved wine leaves and pickles, thereby imparting a distinct flavor to the cuisine.

5. Non-vegetarian dishes often use raw meat, such as raw lamb loins. However, this is not ideal for restaurant kitchen environments, as the freshness of the meat cannot be determined. Dishes such as “Kibbeh Nieh” (a kind of Beef Tartar) are generally seen only in home cooking.

Hummus

Babaganouj

Salad

Seafood Tajine

6 Unique Things To Do In Singapore

People visiting Singapore for the first time usually opt for the regular stuff that most tourists do during their first visit to the place. However, here’s a list of six unique things to do and places to see in Singapore that will make you skip the mainstream activities and opt for something unusual instead. After all, it’s better to look back at life and say: ‘I can’t believe I did that,’ than to look back and say: ‘I wish I did that.’

MovieMob
MovieMob is a fortnightly Outdoor Drive-In Movie Screening concept that takes place in all locations all around Singapore. Since its inception in 2009 till date, they’ve had at least 200 free Drive-In cars per MovieMob event and about 600-800 people per MovieMob Picnic Event. In addition to this, they’ve built a community of MovieMobbers that numbers 40,000 in database with over 22,000 Facebook Fans. MovieMobbers also can vote their favorite movies prior to the weekend Movie Event.

MovieMob

Bollywood Veggies at Kranji Countryside
Bollywood Veggies is a sanctuary away from the bustle of the “Little Red Dot”.  Set in the rustic environment of the northwest Kranji Countryside, visiting it is a step back to Singapore’s lush history. The location provides a great opportunity to see a fresh side of the island, rejuvenate ones senses, connect with family, and enjoy the simple pleasures of food.

On site, they have a Food Museum where you can learn about the history of food culture. For nature lovers, the entire area boasts world-class biodiversity, and their farm has many birds, fish, frogs, snails, and insects in the outback acres. Above all, one can simply take a relaxing walk around their ten acre farm to soak in the beauty, nature has to offer.

Bollywood Veggies

The Southern Ridges
Steeped in history and home to some of nature’s greatest gifts of flora and fauna, the Southern Ridges offers breathtaking views across 10 km of green, open spaces that connect Mount Faber Park, Telok Blangah Hill Park, HortPark, Kent Ridge Park and Labrador Nature Reserve.

The natural beauty and green open spaces of the Southern Ridges make it ideal for walking or cycling. It is also one of the best spots in Singapore to catch panoramic views of the city, the harbour and the Southern Islands. The splendor of the wild flowers and brightly-colored birds will definitely leave photographers spoilt for choice.

The Southern Ridges

German Girl Shrine in Pulau Ubin
Nestled in the lalang grass of Pulau Ubin, a tiny island off the coast of Singapore, is a small mysterious yellow hut that houses the century-old German Girl Shrine. The shrine was made to store the remains of a German girl who lived and died before WWI. The hut contains an altar with feminine items like nail polish, brushes and lipsticks, offerings to the German girl represented by the doll encased in a box at the center of the altar.

German Girl Shrine

China Square Central Weekend Flea Market
A veteran of the scene, this weekly flea market (every Sunday from 11am to 6pm) is a reliable place to score antiques and collectibles, including records, comics and watches. Look harder and one can snap up hard-to-find items for a few dollars each.

China Square Central Flea Market

Haw Par Villa
Built in 1937 by Aw Boon Haw as a residence for his younger brother, it was constructed as a place to teach traditional Chinese values. Then known as the Tiger Balm Gardens was later acquired by the government and thereafter the Aw family donated the statues and structures to the nation. It is an amazing place to enjoy Chinese folklore, stories of the legends and the remains of the history.

Haw Par Villa

Cherry Blossoms at The Leela, Mumbai

Citrus at The Leela Mumbai is the hotel’s 24-hour restaurant situated at the lobby level, known for its exotic buffet, Sunday brunch and it’s exquisite Japanese counter. It is undoubtedly the ideal spot for a lazy breakfast, cozy brunch or a relaxed dinner.

As you enter Citrus, beautiful, pink cherry blossoms to your right ensure you do not give the Japanese counter amiss. The Leela Mumbai wanted to offer patrons an authentic Japanese experience in Mumbai and hence the Japanese counter was introduced last year in September. In a short span of seven months, this dedicated quintessential Japanese counter has grown many folds and is now also available at other outlets such as the Cosmopolitan Bar – Six Degrees and The Lobby Lounge. Apart from that, it’s menu offerings also features in the room service menu for in-house guests.

According to Chef Surrender Mohan, Corporate Chef – Indian Cuisine, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts, ‘Mumbai has a lot of Japanese expatriats living and working here and these numbers are growing.  A lot of them dine here at The Leela and we have a lot of resident Japanese guests staying with us throughout the year.  The growing demand from our guests for Japanese cuisine led us to setting up a Japanese counter at Citrus.  Our Indian clientele who stay and dine with us are very well traveled – they enjoy global flavours and cuisines and appreciate our offering of Japanese as well.  Our dishes are prepared with authentic Japanese ingredients especially flown in from Japan and our guests enjoy our simple but authentic menu.’

The Leela Mumbai was kind enough to invite me for a meal at Citrus as they are currently celebrating Japan’s popular Cherry Blossom Festival. I had the option to choose the Bento Box, specially introduced for this month or to randomly order for dishes from the menu. Being a fan of Japanese cuisine, I requested the chef to serve me a few of his signature dishes.

I tried:
– Crispy Onion Salad with Avocados
– Shira-ae
– Miso Shiru
– Hamachi Carpaccio
– Chili Crab and Salmon Sushi
– Dragon Roll

‘Shoyu or Soy sauce and other soybean products are staples in Japan and are among the most common ingredients used in their cooking. Soy sauce is a flavor enhancer much like salt. As an experiment, you can replace the salt you normally use at home with a swirl of Soy sauce – you will realize the importance of its usage  in Japanese food,’ Chef Mohan said upon being asked about the most common ingredient used in Japanese food.

What impressed me:
– Crispy Onion Salad with Avocados was light, fresh, flavorsome and ofcourse, crispy
– For all those of you who don’t know what Shira-ae actually is, it is basically a tofu salad. The ingredients used to create this delectable dish are: Atari goma (sesame paste), Usukuchi (soy sauce), Rice vinegar, Tofu, Sesame seeds, Edamame,  Zucchini Rayu (Chili oil) and sugar. Chef was extremely kind to prepare a mini portion especially for me. When my dish arrived, it was like an explosion of colors, textures and flavors. It tasted as awesome as it looked. Not every restaurant that serves Japanese gets this dish right
– The Miso Shiru was served warm in a small cup and was extremely refreshing. It was smooth and mellow and had the real miso flavor. The small tofu chunks added to the flavor making it extremely delicious yet light
– Hamachi (‘yellowtail’) Carpaccio melted in the mouth
– Chili Crab and Salmon Sushi was fresh and delightful. Being a fan of sushi, I must admit that this one was definitely one of the best options the city has to offer
– Dragon Roll had a crunchy texture. Place a piece of ginger and some wasabi over it and you’ll never want it to end

Over all, I had a brilliant experience and would totally recommend this place to anybody who loves Japanese cuisine.

Rating:
5/5

Crispy Onion Salad with Avocados

Shira-ae

Miso Shiru

Hamachi Carpaccio

Chilli Crab and Salmon Sushi

Dragon Rolls

Address:
Citrus, The Leela Hotel,
Andheri Kurla Road,
Sahar,
Andheri East,
Mumbai.

Citrus - The Leela Mumbai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

In Conversation with Pooja Dhingra

Pooja Dhingra, popularly known as the ‘Macaron Lady,’ is the owner of the famous French-style dessert paradise, Le 15 Patisserie. A Le Cordon Bleu graduate, Pooja introduced the city of Mumbai to her delicious macarons at the age of 22 thus providing us with a taste of Paris in the city. One bite into her first macaron and she knew what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. She firmly believed in what she loved and made her passion her profession. Her desserts are popular among Bollywood celebrities, socialites and the who’s-who of the city. She is not only known for her macarons but is also famous for her delicious cupcakes, cakes, choux pastries, tarts and Nutella brownies.

A quote I once read –  ‘Do it with passion or not at all,’ applies so perfectly to Pooja. She inspires me and many other 25 year old’s, each day to do what we love most. Read on as she talks about her favorite quote, the best and weirdest dessert she’s ever tried and more.

Pooja Dhingra

1. Describe Le 15 Patisserie in 5 words
Happy, Love, Delicious, Pretty and Fashionable

2. If you had a dream macaron, how would it look and what would it taste like?
A Giant macaron, layered with dark chocolate, caramel and passion fruit

3. Your most favorite dessert in the world
Anything with dark chocolate!

4. If you had to describe yourself as a cupcake, which one would you be and why?
A red velvet – happy, sweet and bright

5. The weirdest dessert you have ever tasted
A blue cheese and mushroom chocolate fondant

6. Mumbai or Paris – which city do you love more?
Mumbai

7. What’s your definition of success? What three things do you need to be successful in your field? What are deal killers for you?
To me, success is achieving the goals you set out for yourself. You must be passionate, dedicated and patient. Deal killers are people who don’t respect your time.

8. Where do you see Le 15 Patisserie 10 years from now?
All over the world 🙂

9. A quote that inspires you the most
This too shall pass. It reminds me that it doesn’t matter what phase of life you’re in – it can be hard or happy, it will pass. It encourages me to live in the moment.

10. If you had to give some advice to a 20 year old Pooja, what would it be?
I would tell her to not be afraid and to always dream big.

Happiness in a Box at Le 15 Patisserie

Macaroons – Made with love

Red Velvet Cupcake at Le 15 Patisserie

Choux Pastries at Le 15 Pattiserie

Foodie Adventures in Tokyo

Tokyo, the capital city of Japan is known for its lip-smacking Japanese cuisine. From fine-dining restaurants to cafes, from sushi parlors to ramen stalls, this place is sure to provide you with a one-of-a-kind gastronomic experience. Walk around and you’ll see diners slurping freshly made noodles, chefs rolling sushis, sweets displayed at store windows and tourists wondering what to eat. If you need to know where to begin, read on and find out more.

1) Sushi –
Sushi is a Japanese food consisting of cooked rice combined with other ingredients, seafood and vegetables. It is a Japanese speciality and is available at every restaurant that serves Japanese cuisine all over the world. In Tokyo, relish delicious sushi for breakfast at a shop just outside Tsukiji market, the world’s biggest wholesale fish and seafood market

Sushi

2) Ramen –
Also known as Chinese noodle soup, this delicacy is surely worth a try and is best served at century old shops around Tokyo. Some of these ancient shops are so popular that you are sure to wait in a line for as long as an hour

Ramen

3) Taiyaki –
Taiyaki is a sweet pastry filled with sweet red bean or sweet potato, in the shape of a fish. It may sometimes also consist of custard, chocolate or cheese and is sure to leave you craving for more

Taiyaki

4) Negitoro Don –
This Japanese speciality is a combination of raw tuna and green onions over rice that is enjoyed best when served warm

Negi-toro don

5) Okonomiyaki/Monchayaki –
Okonomiyaki are Japanese Style ‘pancakes’ that can be made with any number of ingredients (cabbage, thin slices of pork belly, octopus, shrimp, cheese etc.) This popular dish originated in the Kansai Area but has been served in some areas like Asakusa for a very long time, making it a perfect dish to enjoy in Tokyo as well as Kansai.

Okonomiyaki

Unlike Okonomiyaki, Monchayaki is a 100% Tokyo-style dish. It is Okonomiyaki’s gloopy, soupy cousin, made with a flour-based batter topped with shredded cabbage and other ingredients and cooked on a griddle. Best enjoyed in one of the small restaurants located at Tsukishima Monja Streets

6) Tamagoyaki –
This Japanese fried omelette is yummiest at the various specialized shops just outside Tsukiji market

Tamgoyaki

7) Chanko Nabe –
A hot pot designed to ‘fatten up’ sumo wrestlers with a variety of ingredients like meat, cabbage and seasonal vegetables. Originally only served in sumo stables, the tasty hot pot nowadays is also very popular with the general public. The best places to enjoy this dish can be found in Ryogoku where most sumo stables are located

Chanko Nabe

8) Sweet crepe –
Filled with ice cream, fruits and whipped cream, the gigantic sweet wraps have not much in common anymore with the original from France, but are definitely worth a try. The most famous shops are on trendy Takeshita street in Harajuku

Sweet Crepes

9) Takoyaki –
Also known as fried octopus, they are small ball-shaped snacks with octopus inside. Originating in Osaka, you can find some great street food stalls selling takoyaki in Tokyo too

Takoyaki

To book a trip to Tokyo, contact Debbie Duncan-Studart, General Manager, Abercrombie & Kent
Debbie Duncan-Studart,
Abercrombie & Kent
Ground Floor, Tower 4, Etihad Towers,
Abu Dhabi, UAE
www.abercrombiekent.ae
Telephone  +9712 245 8100

*All images have been sourced from Google & Pinterest